Racing is back this weekend at Darlington Raceway for the first of two NASCAR Cup Series races in four days. Following Sunday’s return to racing – the first time on track since March 8 at the end of the West Coast swing – the NCS will again visit ‘The Lady in Black’ for a primetime event under the lights Wednesday night. Roush Fenway Racing has five Cup Series wins all-time at Darlington and has finished in the top-ten in nearly half the events it has raced it.
The Real Heroes 400
Sunday, May 17, 2020 | 3:30 p.m. ET
FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
- Ryan Newman, No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang
- Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang
NASCAR Returns to Action
- NASCAR makes its return to racing this weekend with a NASCAR Cup Series race that will serve as the first of seven national series races over an 11-day span at two different tracks throughout May.
- The race at the historic South Carolina track will be held without fans in attendance and is slated to be NASCAR’s first on-track action in more than two months as the sport and world have been on pause during COVID-19.
- Following the initial race back on Sunday, the NCS will again visit Darlington for a midweek race under the lights three days later. The May schedule also includes the crown jewel Coca-Cola 600 in its traditional Memorial Day Weekend home for the 60th consecutive season, plus other midweek races in prime time.
- Four weeks of NASCAR action were completed prior to the outbreak before races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville were later postponed.
Newman Returns to the Seat Following Daytona 500
Newman makes his return to the No. 6 car this weekend following a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500 in which he was leading coming to the checkered flag. After recovering from the injuries sustained in the crash, Newman was cleared for racing activity on April 28 and granted a playoff waiver from NASCAR after missing three races (Las Vegas, Fontana, Phoenix).
Roush Fenway has twice won consecutive NCS races at Darlington, including a season sweep in 1999 with former driver and current NBC commentator Jeff Burton. Roush Fenway also earned victories in consecutive seasons at the egg-shaped oval in 2005 and 2006 with Biffle.
Tale of the Tape
In 244 all-time NASCAR starts at ‘The Lady in Black,’ Jack Roush’s Fords have 20 wins, 69 top-five and 116 top-10 finishes, along with 20 poles. Over the years RFR has led 4500+ laps across the Cup, Xfinity and Truck series, with more than 84,000 miles logged at the 1.366-mile track. In NCS action alone, RFR has finished top-10 in 44 percent (69-of-158) of the races with 35 top-five results and five wins.
Kickin’ It Old School
Legendary Roush Fenway drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle are responsible for the five Cup wins for Jack Roush at Darlington. Martin earned Roush’s first Cup win back in 1993 after leading 178 laps. Burton swept the 1999 events as the dominant car, and Biffle earned the two most recent victories in 2005 and 2006.
It’s no secret that when Roush has dominated in the Xfinity Series at Darlington. In 79 starts, the organization has 15 wins, 33 top-five and 44 top-10s. Mark Martin is responsible for eight of the victories, second-most for him among any track, after winning five of the first seven races at the track for Roush from 1993-96. He also went on to win in 1999, and swept again in 2000. Jeff Burton got in on the fun with wins in 1997, 2001 and 2002, while Biffle earned a win in 2004. Most recently, Kenseth drove to victory lane in 2005 and 2009.
The Real Heroes Project Debuts at Darlington
NASCAR is collaborating with other professional sports properties across the country to embark on The Real Heroes Project. The goal is to motivate and inspire healthcare workers as sports only can, by turning its greatest heroes (the athletes) into their greatest fans. To that end, the name of a COVID-19 frontline worker will be displayed above the driver’s side door on each entry this weekend at Darlington.
For the first race back on May 17, NASCAR worked in partnership with FOX and their tune-in priority market affiliate program to select the COVID-19 worker being recognized. FOX affiliates from around the country were asked to nominate a local hero from their community to be recognized during the return.
Roush Fenway Darlington Wins
1993-2 Martin Cup
1999-1 Burton Cup
1999-2 Burton Cup
2005 Biffle Cup
2006 Biffle Cup
1993-2 Martin NXS
1994-1 Martin NXS
1994-2 Martin NXS
1995-2 Martin NXS
1996-1 Martin NXS
1997-2 Burton NXS
1999-2 Martin NXS
2000-1 Martin NXS
2000-2 Martin NXS
2001-2 Burton NXS
2002-1 Burton NXS
2002-2 Burton NXS
2004-1 Biffle NXS
2005 Kenseth NXS
2009 Kenseth NXS
By the Numbers at Darlington Raceway
Race Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led AvSt AvFn Miles
158 5 35 69 7 50552 2718 16.6 16.0 69054.0
79 15 33 44 12 10616 1856 9.9 12.9 14501.4
7 0 1 3 1 944 9 16.0 15.9 1289.50
244 20 69 116 20 62112 4583 14.4 15.0 84844.9